In April 1983, Günter Wand stood on the podium of the DSO for the first time. It was the beginning of a triumphant collaboration with always acclaimed concerts – especially with the programmatic heavyweights Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Schubert. In 1993, the DSO appointed Günter Wand as its Principal Guest Conductor, and three years later he was the first to be named Conductor Laureate of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
In autumn 2000, Kent Nagano stepped up to the podium of the DSO as its fifth principal conductor. With unusual combinations of romantic and contemporary programmes, he made contemporary music a top priority. He took the Berlin audience by storm and led the orchestra to much-acclaimed opera guest appearances in Baden-Baden, Salzburg and Paris. On his departure in 2006, the DSO appointed him Conductor Laureate.